Rians & Provence
Rians – a village in the heart of Provence
The village is located near the famous mountain Sainte-Victoire, north of Aix-en-Provence and on the way up to the scenic Gorges du Verdon. The location makes Rians a perfect starting point for experiencing and discovering Provence, everything from sunbathing on the Riviera to vineyards, cozy Provencal villages, culture and outdoor life with fantastic hiking trails and cycle paths around the corner.
Rians is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the alps and has about 1400 inhabitants in the village center. It is a small, quiet and typical southern French village with a history that stretches all the way back to Roman times. It is also a vibrant village with shops, bars, restaurants and a large communal pool area.
Distances (from the house)
- Convenience store: 5 meters
- Grocery store (Carrefour): 400 meters
- Municipal pool: 350 m (open July-August)
- Tennis: 350 meters
- Boule/petanque: 200 meters
- Nearest lake (Peyrolles): 25 minutes by car
- Mediterranean sea: 50 minutes by car to Cassis
- Aix-en-Provence: 40 minutes by car
- Airports: Marseille 1 hour, Nice 1.5 hour
- Bus station: Jouques, Saint-Maximin, Aix-en-Provence
- Nearest train station /TGV: Aix-en-Provence (center), Aix-en-Provence (TGV), Meyrargues
A region with 300 days of sunshine
The fact that the Provence region is an old cultivation district is clearly visible. Each village has a surrounding area big enough for the fields to support the village, but the distances are no greater than that you can see to the next mountain village or even cycle there.
The landscape alternates between cultivated land and the wide heath landscape, the garrigue, with its bushy vegetation, an Eldorado for the wild boar.
The villages have often resorted to mountain ridges to make them easier to defend. But also to avoid the heat of the summers. The heat is a bigger torment than the cold, it can be more easily protected against. The village’s narrow winding alleys provide shade despite the high sun. The deep window niches, the thick stone walls, the airy attic spaces can partly keep the heat away indoors. For Provence, a very sunny region with over 300 days of sunshine each year and the rainfall accumulates for short but very dramatic periods.
Life in the villages can seem calm. The still life at the classic bars, the men’s low-key games on the boulevards, meetings and conversations in squares and in shops. One explanation for the apparent calm is both the fairly low retirement age and the high average life together with the deeply cemented siesta state tradition. But the tranquillity is deceptive, children and young people travel early to their educational institutions, working-class residents may travel early and come home late from their jobs, often located in cities and larger communities perhaps miles away. The jobs have moved from the farm next door to larger communities.
Text: Johan Näsström
The closest airports are Nice Cote d´Azur Airport (1,5 h) and Marseille (1h). Check different airline- and travel company websites for further information.
There are train stations in Aix-en-Provence (SNCF, city center) and at the Aix-en-Provence TGV station (between Aix and Marseille). There is also a small train station in Meyrargues.
The closest bus stations are in Jouques and in Saint Maximin. Connecting bus stations, for example regarding airport transfers, are in Aix-en-Provence and in Saint-Maximin. There is no bus to Rians so you will have to grab a taxi from Saint-Maximin or Jouques.
It is convenient to have a car during your stay. We recommend the companies one can find at the airports. Book your car ahead of time and when you arrive to the airport, send someone to pick up the car while the others ones are waiting for the luggage.